Mitchell Freeway – an extra lane northbound – what happens to the PSP

PerthNow reported yesterday that Mitchell Freeway will get an extra lane:
THE Mitchell Freeway will get an extra lane as the WA Government scrambles to tackle traffic congestion in the 12-month run-up to the next election.

The Sunday Times can reveal that Treasurer Christian Porter’s May Budget will include $41 million to be spent on an extra northbound lane, for 8km from the Graham Farmer Freeway to Hutton St.

The project will cost $16 million, with the Government predicting 14,500 extra vehicles a day will drive through the tunnel to avoid the diversions of Riverside Drive traffic up Barrack and William streets into The Esplanade from May next year as part of the Perth Waterfront development.

Town of Cambridge has already indicated that around Lake Monger:
The rest of the bitumen path from the pagoda to the overpass over the freeway would not be done because the Mitchell Freeway was due to be widened by one lane sometime this year.

After the freeway work was done, the shared path would be completed, probably by making the pedestrian-only path on the eastern side the lake a shared path.

The pedestrian only footpath allows pedestrian’s a choice of using the footpath or the shared path.  After the freeway upgrade, there will be only one choice, a shared path.

If you look at at Scarborough Beach Rd overpass there is only the emergency strip between the PSP and the freeway.  If the area around Lake Monger which is several meters away from the freeway is going to be impacted, the PSP over Scarborough Beach Rd overpass will also be impacted, with no room to move except for the PSP to be relocated to the east, or for us to cross Scarborough Beach Rd, under the overpass.

I also can’t see the logic of just putting in 1 extra lane northbound to cater for extra traffic from Riverside Drive closure.  Cars are either going via Riverside Drive, and getting on the Freeway north, already on the freeway or using alternative routes (ie Farmer Freeway tunnel).  This does not result in extra traffic travelling northbound on the freeway, as they would have already been travelling north.  If however, as the title of the article indicates, it is as a result of traffic congestion, then shouldn’t a southbound lane also be added?  If it does, then further impacts on the PSP will occur due to the closeness of the PSP to the freeway around areas on the east side of the freeway at the Lake Monger area.

We have already observed the impact of the Kwinana Freeway PSP (Leach Highway area) closures, as a result of a freeway widening.  What benefits do cyclists get out of these closures?

In my view, this is an other $16M being spent on trying to improve traffic congestion for those heading north on the Mitchell Freeway which is only to Hutton St.  Why can’t we spend it on public transport and improvement of the cycling infrastructure to allow more individuals to not use their car?

About Roland

I returned to cycling around 5 years ago, when I decided to start commuting by bike to work. I'm now cycling around 13,500km's annually, and love it.